Ontario is allowing 280,000 more students to return to in-class learning next week.
On Thursday, Education Minister Stephen Lecce said that on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, students in four public health units would return to class on February 1.
“The government agrees with the growing consensus in the medical community that returning students to in-person learning is essential to the wellbeing, development and mental health of children. According to leading medical and scientific experts, including Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, our province’s schools are safe places for learning,” the statement said.
The four additional public health units (PHU) are:
- Eastern Ontario Health Unit
- Middlesex-London Health Unit
- Southwestern Public Health
- Ottawa Public Health
This means that all schools in the following boards will resume in-person learning on February 1:
- Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario
- Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario
- Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l’Est ontarien
- Conseil scolaire de district catholique du Centre-Est de l’Ontario
- London District Catholic School Board
- Ottawa Catholic District School Board
- Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
- Thames Valley District School Board
- Upper Canada District School Board
Two additional school boards that span across multiple PHUs may have some schools that resume in-person learning on February 1, while other schools will continue to teach remotely. The local PHU should be contacted on the status of schools in these boards:
- Conseil scolaire catholique Providence
- Conseil scolaire Viamonde
“Local PHUs continue to have the authority to close schools based on their unique circumstances, and parents may choose to permit their children to continue learning remotely,” the province said.
Schools in the remaining PHUs will continue with remote learning.
On January 25, seven school boards in Ontario also resumed in-person learning.